855.260.HOPE info@emberhope.org
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STRIVE Independent Living

EmberHope’s STRIVE independent living program is cultivating a community of hope. It is a donor funded two-year strengths-focused program dedicated to helping young people transition into adulthood so they can become stable, productive and healthy citizens. This one-on-one transitional program provides an opportunity to develop self-sufficient young adults who enrich our community while potentially preventing costs associated with at-risk youth including incarceration, homelessness, substance abuse and reliance on public assistance.

Working with a program coordinator, young adults will complete a comprehensive assessment to identify the strengths, knowledge and skills to be added to their individualized STRIVE plan. We ensure the participant has a safe place to live, learn and work, and assist with building positive, permanent adult connections that will be maintained upon successful completion of the program. During each of the three program phases, the young adult receives monthly financial assistance and connections to needed resources.


  • Youth under the age of 21 at the time of application
  • Any at-risk young adults in the community, including those who have aged out of foster care or juvenile justice system
  • Must complete a written application to demonstrate their need and desire to work towards self-sufficiency
  • Young adults must be willing to be involved in a two-year-plus program, sign an agreement and maintain contact with the program coordinator to receive monthly financial assistance

How to apply

EmberHope’s STRIVE is now accepting applications. Any young adults interested in participating should return a completed application to the contact listed below.

If you are an adult who would like to refer a youth to this program, please return a completed referral form to the contact listed below.

Adult connections & mentors

New adult connections are always welcome to offer the youth in our program support and access to resources. There are numerous ways to provide a helping hand, please review the adult connection interest form for a detailed list. Return your completed form to the contact listed below when you are ready to get involved.

Program Phases

Months 1-6

  • Weekly face-to-face contact with program coordinator
  • Complete assessment
  • Update learning plan every 30 days
  • Report pay stubs or school progress each month

Months 7-12

  • Every other week face-to-face contact with program coordinator
  • Youth monitors progress and takes proactive approach to gathering and providing information to program coordinator
  • Complete new assessment again at 12 months to monitor progress

Independence & teaching
Months 13-24

  • Monthly contact required, face-to-face with program coordinator if appropriate
  • Youth may continue to receive stipend as a mentor for a new program participant


EmberHope’s STRIVE Independent Living
Leslie Schmeidler, LBSW
STRIVE program coordinator
316.529.9100 ext. 8210

STRIVE funding
Please let us know if you are interested in financially supporting a STRIVE program in your community.

Amy Tuttle
Vice President of Advancement